Ronan Farrow. (Image: AP/Invision/Evan Agostini)

Three years into the Trump presidency, the US
media are still grappling with the big question: what are we doing here?
Transcribing the words of the powerful? Or holding them to account? 

How US journalists answer those questions inevitably shapes how the Australian media come to understand its role today.

This week, those questions kindled the fire that’s lit up US media Twitter in a journalistically no-holds barred clash between The New York Times media columnist (and former BuzzFeed News chief) Ben Smith and The New Yorker Pulitzer Prize-winning Me Too star Ronan Farrow.